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HSBC is making buy-to-let mortgages available once again and has cleared its backlog of physical valuations in England and Scotland.

Easing of restrictions have enabled the lender to make the changes which will mean physical valuations will now work to a pre-lockdown timetable.

It also announced it would be re-starting physical valuations in Northern Ireland today (Monday). Meanwhile, in Wales, physical valuations were due to start when the country’s lockdown restrictions are eased.

News of the return of its buy-to-let mortgages will come as good news to landlords who can now apply for these products through online or telephone applications direct from HSBC UK.

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Restrictions on the movement of people and access to properties introduced as part of the Covid-19 lockdown meant that HSBC – along with many other lenders – was forced to change the way it approached the valuation of properties to ensure it was providing responsible lending.

Michelle Andrews, head of buying a home, at HSBC UK explained: “Where we could we expanded our use of desktop and automated valuations, so mortgage applications could continue.

“In some cases, like higher LTV applications and buy-to-let mortgages it is an essential part of the process, so unfortunately those applications had to be paused.

“I am pleased to say that we have now, with the help of our corporate valuations partners, addressed our backlog of physical valuations in England and Scotland and those mortgages that were on hold are progressing, taking those buying a home one step closer to a potentially dream move.

“Plus, as we are now in a position where we can satisfy our requirement for a physical valuation in a safe compliant way, we are also able to provide buy-to-let mortgages again for landlords.”

Andrews added: “We have shown we can work with our valuers at pace when physical valuations become possible, with appointments already in the diary in Northern Ireland for Monday.

“We are looking forward to being able to progress with physical valuations in Wales as soon as the lockdown rules ease.”

By Kate Saines

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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